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Billboard points to strain between oil and gas, Santa Fe

A billboard on U.S. Highway 285 posted by Power the Future indicates a disconnection between oil and gas workers in New Mexico and State leaders, May 17, 2021 north of Carlsbad.

A disconnect appeared to persist between the workers that drive New Mexico’s oil and gas industry and the state leaders who regulate it.

That disparity between the needs of the workers and agenda of the government was exemplified in a group of billboards erected across southeast New Mexico this month, near cities like Carlsbad and Hobbs, centers of the prolific Permian Basin oilfield.

The signage, posted by oil and gas advocacy group Power the Future, read “You’re fracking welcome, Santa Fe,” substituting fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, for an expletive.

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Hydraulic fracturing is a process of breaking up underground shale rock by pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals beneath the surface so that crude oil and natural gas can be extracted.